Oil ministry’s fuel reserves sufficient for months, Oil Ministry says

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By Shaymaa Adel

Azzaman, July 27, 2014

Iraq has sufficient fuel supplies to avert any shortages for months, the Oil Ministry said.

The ministry spokesperson Isam Jihad said the ministry has the ability to supply all provinces with their fuel needs, excluding what he described as “restive provinces.”

Militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have occupied large areas in the north and west of the country, including oil fields and refineries.

The country’s largest refinery in Baiji with a capacity of more than 300,000 barrels a day is no longer operational due to repeated attacks by ISIS.

However, Jihad said refineries in central and southern parts of Iraq were operating at full capacity.

The ministry embarked on a 10-year strategic plan (2008-2017) to boost refining capacity from the then 600,000 barrels a day to 1.5 million barrels.

It is not clear how much the implementation of the plan has been affected by the ISIS invasion, but in the years since its launch major work was reported to have been carried out to revamp the country’s antiquated refineries.

The Doura Refinery in Baghdad is running at full capacity, churning out more than 200,000 barrels per day.

The absence of Baiji is reported to have left Iraq with a refining capacity of more than 600,000 barrels per day.

In the past four years, the ministry began building small-scale refineries (10,000-20,000 barrels a day) in about a dozen provinces, mainly those situated in the south.